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While I am waiting for CarToyz of Yakima to pick up the car to install the TREMEC 6-speed and upgrade the diff, I decided to have some fun with LED headlight upgrades. Wow, what a difference!

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As I’ve started on some smaller jobs while waiting for CarToyz of Yakima to pick up the car to install a TREMEC 6-speed (and brace the diff and lower the diff ratio, and add posi), I’ve realized a need a workspace. Constantly going in and out of the house to the garage got old really fast!

It took a good six hours, but done! Now on to finishing restoration of the tail lights and reverse light housings and LED conversion.

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If you've ever wrenched around a car, or even changed a tire, you're familiar with the black grime that seems to coat every part of the car around the wheel wells and in the engine bay. It's oil, dirt, brake dust, and glue all mixed in one. It gets under your fingernails and you nearly have to scrub your skin raw to get it off. Nobody likes grime!

Looking at the engine bay of the project car, we can be fairly certain that it's been quite a while since the engine has been cleaned. First up is to get off the grime! I'm not going to detail the engine in this post, but instead just get rid of the worst of the grime before I even think about working in this engine bay. Gross!

Before cleaning the engine, I did a bit of prep work. First, I idled the engine for 20 minutes to get it up to temp. The grime is easier to remove when it's warm -- thanks to Uncle Tony for that tip. I removed any debris (sticks, leaves, etc) from below the windshield and in the "ruts" around the fender wells. Next, I removed the battery. I then used plastic and tape to protect water from getting into the distributor and the alternator.

I used a pressure washer on medium strength to wash the engine bay. I didn't go to crazy as I didn't want condensation or sprayback to get water into the alternator or distributor. About twenty minutes later, she's looking a lot better. Check out the pics below.


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Friends on Facebook asked for more pics. Here they are!

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In September 2020, I bought a 1973 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus for $4,500 on Craigslist having only seen it in pictures. This is risky… for all I knew, the pics weren’t recent or weren’t even the car I would get! My biggest fear as is often the class when buying older cars is rust. That’s easy to hide in pictures with some filler and primer.

I picked this car because it’s the same body used in the highly collectable Plymouth Roadrunner and Plymouth GTX muscle cars, the Chrysler B body.

The car arrived on a flatbed. It started right up, although there was a noticeable puff of white smoke (oil) from the tailpipe on startup. It immediately went away though, so not a huge deal. I am planning on eventually rebuilding the motor anyway. Once she was in my driveway, I took a weak magnet (think flexible refrigerator magnet) and was ecstatic to find no rust at all other than a bit of surface rust in the usual places such as where the window trim meets the body. In fact, I couldn’t find any body damage at all! Not even a door ding. Given that the previous owner worked in an auto body shop, it seems he’d done a lot of the work for me to prep the body for final paint. Awesome! He even left a nice 3/8” torque wrench in the trunk, although I later found out that that was left in error.

Since the previous owner left the plates on the car (kids, don’t do that), I jumped in to see how she drives. Steers, stops, moves in all gears. Great! The steering is a slop-fest, the brakes need bleeding, but the de-tuned Chrysler 318LA (5.2L) motor feels like it has most if not all of its original 170-ish horsepower. Not bad!

Next up: cleaning up the grime on the motor and deciding how to attack the steering slop.

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